Taking a leap of faith, Ford left the Statesman in 1999 to start his own venture and saw a vacancy in the booming software and IT services arena. When asked about software escrow services, he immediately saw the value, recognized the need, studied the global market and ran with the idea. Ford studied the existing software escrow business models and launched Guard-IT in March 1999, later incorporating the business in June 1999.
His vision and company mission remains to help software developers and their clients set up and maintain source code escrow accounts with flexible contract terms, simple online account administration and competitive fees. Today, Guard-IT serves clients in 36 countries around the globe from its Austin headquarters.
Ford graduated magna cum laude with a journalism degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is the former president and program director of Austin's Technology Advisors Group.
Jim and his wife Sheri recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. They've lived in Austin since the mid-'80s and have three children and one grandson.
Before establishing his Austin practice, Belt practiced in Geneva, Switzerland and Paris, France. He has also taught business law at the University of Texas School of Business and business studies at Austin Community College.
In addition to his law practice, Belt assists startups and other businesses in raising venture capital, locally and internationally.
McLain is a distinguished and credentialed mediator, handling cases in a variety of business and civil arenas. She has been recognized by Official Proclamation of the Texas Senate for her contributions in community affairs.
She is the founding member of Linda McLain, P.C. and McLain Mediation Services.